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possible replacement as defense secretary, former nebraska senator chuck hagel. could move one step closer to being confirmed today. the senate armed services committee plans to vote on hagel's nomination today. >>> speak egg of today, right now, lawmakers are meeting to discuss current and potential laws to help reduce gun violence. a senate judiciary subcommittee is holding a hearing to review new proposals as well as looking at the effectiveness of current gun laws. the director of the johns hopkins center for gun policy and research and family members of shooting victims will be among those testifying today. >>> and this morning, the vatican says pope benedict xvi will not participate in the conclave to pick his successor. next month, more than 100 cardinals will meet at the cat v vatican to begin the closed-door ritual to pick. it takes a two-thirds majority to become pope. this morning on the "today" show father robert baron explained what the cardinals will look for when picking a new pope. here's what he had to say about what happens when when they meet to make that choice. >> they
and a half. >>> in just about an hour, the bitter battle to confirm chuck hagel as defense secretary could come to an end. for the first time in history the senate filibustered his nomination, holding up his conversation for more than a week. but some of his most vocal opponents now say they will support the former republican senator. lawmakers will vote at noon. if they end the filibuster, a final vote to confirm hagel could immediately follow. >> mr. chairman, final tally is 19 ayes including proxies, and 5 nays. >> ayes have it. the nomination is recorded. >> and just like that, the senate finance committee gave the thumbs up for treasury secretary nominee jack lew. the panel voted overwhelmingly to approve the nomination, sending the vote now no the senate floor. most recently, lew was president obama's chief of staff and would succeed timothy geithner if approved. >>> baeren bernanke is in the middle of testifying to the senate banking committee. the federal reserve chairman talked about how the economy is slowly but surely improving. he also discussed the impending sequestration and
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